Communication is the heart of your strategic success

When you think about who is behind developing your company strategy, do you imagine the Great and Powerful Oz behind a curtain rendering up illusions for your organization? Do you have an idea how your company strategy is developed? Or by who? Heck – Do you know your company strategy?

Well, one thing’s for sure. Your team needs to know what you’re trying to achieve. If they don’t, you may arrive at your goal by chance, or more likely, won’t achieve it. Just as important, your team needs to know the “why” behind the goal. Knowing why a goal is set helps them understand the drivers and rationale which will create a greater pull on their part to achieve it. Even if the strategy is straight-up about numbers, that means opportunity, welfare for the employees, and creates unity amongst the team with an emotional connection to achieve something great together.

Could something so complex as strategy be so simple? Well, yes. If you acknowledge that your staff is the key to company success. And there are so many ways to communicate strategy and create connections between it and the work being done every day. Here are some basic principles to consider.

Stick to the basics and sprinkle in some personality.
  1. Prepare your strategy speaking points. When your strategy is set, create an FAQ document for your leadership team. This helps everyone communicate the same information versus their own interpretations. The document should answer the who, what, where, when, and whys of the strategy. Let the team figure out the how.  It empowers them.

  2. Create a ceremony. Identify those key moments to bring your team together. When kicking off your strategy, sign a strategy poster, and gather your team together for an all-hands or “strategy day”. Create milestone moments to check in and have fun with the progress updates. They’re opportunities to celebrate mini-milestones and to rally the troops to course-correct if behind.

  3. Create opportunities for people to ask questions. When you have those ceremonial moments, be open about the strategy and allow the team to question, clarify, and recommend.  Make sure there is ample time for Q&A and come with some seed questions that are tough to show the team you’re not afraid to answer or admit you don’t have an answer. Saying “I don’t know, what do you think” is often the best way to create engagement.  Transparency will only strengthen the rollout and make everyone feel involved, creating ownership by everyone.

  4. Tie the strategy to daily work. Cascade goals from the top down. Have team meetings to talk about how each function and team member contributes in practical ways to achieving the strategy. You may ask them “What does this mean to you?” Or “How will you use the strategy to make decision every day”. If you have spot awards, catch people in the act of doing good work that contributes to the strategy. These “any time” moments show all employees the importance of keeping the company strategy front and center every day.

  5. Your strategy should be visible. While a poster alone doesn’t constitute a communications strategy, they do keep eyes on it and seep the messages in the psyche. Also keep real-time dashboard to show progress or corrective actions when behind. Led with KPI metrics that tie to strategy to start every staff meeting. Personalized merchandise, apps, or internal social campaigns are also great ways to keep employees engaged with their eyes, ears, and hands.

In summary, you don’t need complex and bespoke approaches every time. Keep in mind, your business and the strategy itself is the bespoke part. What matters is that you’re showing your team that they are the keys to success. You put the vision in place and rely on the conversations to unleash their collective wisdom and work ethic. Through communication, you’ll exponentially grow the organizational resolve to win.